James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
James gives a form of blessing, though not stated specifically as a beatitude. The specific blessing for perseverance is to receive the Lord’s compassion and mercy. It is not specifically stated when this blessing is experienced. But like many things in the New Testament, this blessing is experienced in part in this life and will be experienced in full at Jesus’ second coming and the judgment. God blesses us in this life We want to hear, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant” (Matthew 25:21). What does it take to persevere? Job is a good example of staying true to one’s faith in spite of many difficulties. He faced many challenges: losing one’s health, family, wealth; having friends who question your integrity and God’s favor to you, and many other things. He did not doubt God or give in to criticism. His character and faith were strong and sure. Eventually he was vindicated and experienced God’s compassion and mercy in a new way. Enduring through suffering produces character in us (Romans 5:3-5). It makes us strong in our faith. Faith opens us to receive God’s compassion and mercy. God will be with us through our suffering. This will require our faith to be in God and not our own abilities or strength. God will help us endure suffering in this life. We may not experience the great restoration of Job, who still lost much through his suffering. Our blessings may be intangible and spiritual. But in the final end of all things, our blessings will outweigh any suffering we experience in this life. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
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